Artwork for podcast Thrive Beyond Pornography (Formerly The Self Mastery Podcast)
Modesty and The New For Strength of Youth with Amanda Louder
Episode 16713th November 2022 • Thrive Beyond Pornography (Formerly The Self Mastery Podcast) • Zach Spafford
00:00:00 00:56:31

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I'm Joined by my friend Amanda Louder from Sex For Saints and Amandalouder.com

00:00.00

amandalouder

Welcome back to the podcast. Everyone I'm here with my good friend and fellow coach Zach Spafford hey Zack good. How are you good now you've been on the podcast before with your lovely wife. Darcy she's amazing I love her so much.

00:05.20

Zachary Spafford

Hey how you doing I'm so good.


00:15.40

Zachary Spafford

She's awesome. Yeah.


00:17.94

amandalouder

Um, but maybe you should just introduce yourself again.


00:21.80

Zachary Spafford

I'm Zach Darcy and I are ah the hosts of thrive beyond pornography which is our podcast and we help latter day saint couples who are struggling with pornography in their relationship at some stage whether it's the beginning or you know you've gotten. Pretty far into making sure that pornography's part of your life. Not part of your life. But but ah yeah, so it's it's however, you want? ah but really, ah, we're helping people who are looking to not just eliminate.


00:42.46

amandalouder

Or maybe it is ah.


00:54.91

Zachary Spafford

Ah, habit but really recreate the relationship that they want and then Thrive Beyond pornography in real and meaningful ways. Sweet.


01:02.12

amandalouder

Awesome well Zach and I are really good friends I mean we've been having a lot of fun together lately. Um, and we seem to have always have these really great discussions around different aspects of the gospel.


01:04.37

Zachary Spafford

Um, yeah.


01:13.90

Zachary Spafford

Um, yeah.


01:16.90

amandalouder

That we see that are so problematic for so many of our clients in different aspects. So the topic that we're going to talk tackle today together is modesty now full disclosure. We decided to do this podcast before the new for strength of youth pamphlet came out but.


01:32.79

Zachary Spafford

Totally.


01:36.40

amandalouder

I Think it's still going to be very applicable.


01:39.27

Zachary Spafford

Yeah I Ah wholeheartedly agree with that because I think that even though we have a new guide I Don't think people have really put enough thought into it yet and there will continue to be some trickle down of old ideas.


01:52.29

amandalouder

For sure and so I'm in the young women presidency in my ward. So I see you know firsthand what a lot of these things are happening in real time I also am involved in some Facebook groups for young women leaders and so I see a lot of the young women leaders coming and saying.


02:02.28

Zachary Spafford

Yeah.


02:11.64

amandalouder

Okay, now my girls are coming and saying oh now I get to just do whatever I want and wear whatever I want and all this Stefan. So I think really having this discussion is going to be really great for parents. You know, young men young women, leaders Bishop Ricks and maybe even the youth themselves.


02:28.80

Zachary Spafford

Well I've got ah I've got a little tiny piece of the story that I'm going to tell you later but we met we. We met someone who is on the young women's general boarded im'm going and tell you the rest of that story later because I think it's a really cool story but 1 of the things that she mentioned when we spoke with her was that.


02:35.40

amandalouder

Oh yes, Yes, it's a great story.


02:45.15

Zachary Spafford

The seminary teachers and the people on the front lines of this The people who are the the adults teachers of youth in our wards but she was specifically referencing a seminary teacher who had come to her and was like I don't know how to discuss this because of exactly that sentiment which was. I Can just do whatever I want now because it doesn't say that I have to follow this rule and I don't think that that's the meaning of this and I'll I'll tell you more about that. Ah, our conversation with her. But I think that we really have to be clear as the adults in the room that it doesn't just mean well.


03:05.00

amandalouder

Yes. No.


03:21.31

Zachary Spafford

It means you can do whatever you want right? because you have agency you always could have though right? you always could have done whatever you wanted. However is that driving you towards the the person that you want to be towards your values and towards the the gospel that you want to live and and more importantly than that.


03:21.45

amandalouder

For sure because you always can have been able to do whatever you want? yeah.


03:36.73

amandalouder

Exactly 100% so maybe I mean for the people who don't understand why the past you know we guidelines we've been given around modesty.


03:40.87

Zachary Spafford

Towards your heavenly father.


03:46.79

Zachary Spafford

Yeah.


03:53.80

amandalouder

Have been problematic. Maybe we should talk about that first.


03:57.00

Zachary Spafford

Yeah, well and maybe this is a good place to tell my story because so I'm going to I want to be really clear about this I'm not I'm going to be speaking about my current stake president. So I want to be really clear I'm not trying to underbuss him I'm not trying to um. Say he's totally wrong and I'm totally right I want to be really clear and respectful of the culture that has been the culture of the church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints in Utah specifically but also possibly in other parts of the country and.


04:24.59

amandalouder

Yes, yes.


04:30.94

Zachary Spafford

Maybe even parts of the world I Want to be respectful of that because I think that this is where we were and many people are still there and so this is really about being willing and able to not just think Beyond the rules but think more towards um.


04:31.83

amandalouder

Ah, yeah.


04:36.31

amandalouder

Me.


04:49.36

Zachary Spafford

Agency and spirituality in in a new and more I think important and effective way.


04:53.66

amandalouder

Yeah, and again I Also want to be clear both of you. Both of us are strong members of the church. We love the gospel. We love our leaders like we're not here to bash our leaders in any way shape or form. But I think and you and I.


05:05.70

Zachary Spafford

No absolutely no.


05:11.98

amandalouder

Agree on this. We have seen a maturing happening um president Nelson I think has been really instrumental in that that you know as a membership as a church. We need to move beyond the checklist and mature into a more.


05:21.76

Zachary Spafford

Um, yeah.


05:27.76

Zachary Spafford

Yes.


05:31.16

amandalouder

Empowered integrity-based agency-based way of living our lives and um I think you agree with me on this that my belief is that many of us are feeling this calling of becoming life coaches to help the individuals.


05:49.63

Zachary Spafford

Yeah I think that's really important I Also think it's important to recognize and just say upfront that you and I we're not speaking for the church. That's not her job. Well these are our opinions. These are our positions I believe they're well considered. But I also recognize that we are not.


05:50.11

amandalouder

Adjust to that change.


05:56.26

amandalouder

No, we're not That's not our job. Yes, yes.


06:08.15

Zachary Spafford

Speaking in any sort of official capacity for the church of Jesus Christ of Latterday saints. So all of those caveats aside what's the problem here. Yeah so about a year and a half ago. Our daughters came home. Ah, and I think this story just encapsulates the problem in itself. Our daughters came home with.


06:11.77

amandalouder

Correct. Yeah yes, okay so tell your story because we want to hear it.


06:23.60

amandalouder

Here.


06:27.39

Zachary Spafford

A packing list for young women's camp and it was like no shorts, no tight Pants. No Tank tops. It was very proscriptive. It was like all of these really? um, specific guidelines around what the young women were to wear to camp and are. Sons came home and I kid you not This is a direct quote from their packing list wear clothes appropriate for camping right? and so you know I'm talking about this with a member of our ward and he's like well that's for their safety and I'm like um I think you're incorrect there. But.


06:55.23

amandalouder

Yes, ah.


07:05.77

Zachary Spafford

He can't think out so he could not think his way out of a wet paper bag. So I just dropped it with him but what I did do was I actually just had my temple recommend interview already scheduled and I said to a member of the state presidency. We think this is a problematic way of addressing things and we're concerned that this is what.


07:11.31

amandalouder

Um.


07:25.72

Zachary Spafford

Is being taught to our children not because we don't teach them about how to respect themselves and respect their bodies but because what this message sends is a message that your body is dangerous and it's not okay for you to be comfortable in your body. Even if that means that someone else sees more of you than they think they ought to and so this was really interesting I mentioned it to him I said this is problematic and you know whatever we get a call from the.


07:45.61

amandalouder

Yes.


07:57.70

Zachary Spafford

Ah, State Secretary State Executive secretary and he's like hey the State president would like to meet with you.


08:07.10

Zachary Spafford

Okay, um, all right? Well and so he brings us in and he's like well you know we we checked around with other members of the steak and we just don't have an appetite currently. For changing this rule so Darcy and I proceeded to explain to him why it's a bad idea to have this rule and we're going to probably talk about some of these things more in detail here in a minute but we we really so were striving to convey to him that this way of thinking. Creates some really difficult meaning frames for the for the young women right? if I write if I have to control what I wear so that I can help the boys out so that they don't think bad thoughts which is.


08:46.91

amandalouder

Yeah.


08:57.41

amandalouder

Well and Teenage boys know you have breasts under your shirt whether you're they're covered or not and guess what That's what they should actually be thinking about oh new idea I know.


08:57.89

Zachary Spafford

Well, it doesn't matter what you're wearing if a guy thinks you're Hot. He's going to think that the thoughts he's going to think right. Write write. Yeah, right? So So we offered our opinion to the State president and in part of the conversation. He said you know well the for strength of youth is the for strength of youth pamphlet of the time is the guideline and I straight said to him I said you know that's not.


09:16.60

amandalouder

But yes, keep going.


09:32.27

Zachary Spafford

Doctrine right? and he yeah yeah.


09:32.55

amandalouder

Which a lot of people do consider it doctrine which is crazy to me I mean I've had this discussion with so many people like no, it's doctrine doctrine doesn't change the first strength of youth pamphlet changes consistently. Yeah, yeah.


09:44.36

Zachary Spafford

Right? Yeah, if you read the one from the 1960 s you'll be real surprised, but my my point in saying that to him was like I understand what you're saying in that the the brethren have offered this ah to us as a guideline. However. Think it's really clear that some of the language in here can become problematic if we don't teach it properly and that was really the extent of our conversation. Although I will tell you that afterward after that conversation. The state presidency was speaking to our then elders corn president who.


10:04.89

amandalouder

Yes.


10:19.63

Zachary Spafford

Just happens to be our good friend and neighbor and he was like who are these spaffords and my my friend was like well they're not Utah mormons which which to which the state president replied. Ah, there's no such thing as a Utah mormon to which my friend replied.


10:27.11

amandalouder

Um. Oh and go back.


10:38.81

Zachary Spafford

You know what? I mean which which is which is simply to say that there is a culture that is purveyed here locally and in some parts of the country that is very much Um, you know these are the rules and we follow these rules and we look like this and we always will look like this.


10:52.40

amandalouder

Yeah, yes.


10:57.32

Zachary Spafford

And I think it's really important to recognize that This is a global church and um and this is something that the the person that we spoke to who's part of the young women's general board said she said we have to stop creating rules for middle class upper middle class white people. That's a direct quote.


11:15.92

amandalouder

Um, okay.


11:17.60

Zachary Spafford

Um, and and really because because for us that I think all those rules might have made sense to a certain degree but they do but they don't necessarily reflect the reality on the ground in every part of the world and that's why like you said we we did not plan to talk about this.


11:23.30

amandalouder

To a certain degree. Yeah. Yeah, yeah.


11:36.44

Zachary Spafford

Ah, new for strength of Youth pamphlet. But um, the furtherance of this story so that we ended that conversation I Pretty much felt like we were not listened to and that may not be true I'm I'm only speaking from my own personal perspective I'm not trying to again I'm not trying to tell. Tell you guys that my state President's a bad person because he's not.. He's a really good kind Human I Just think sometimes it's hard, especially when you're in a position of leadership and very new to that position of leadership. It's hard to think Beyond what you believe is exactly what you're supposed to do and.


11:54.19

amandalouder

No.


12:07.57

amandalouder

Well and we've been this way of thinking has been perpetuated for many many many many years and if again if you've been living you know, especially in Utah but in some areas outside of that and I mean I have I went to high school back east. I lived in Texas as an adult like I haven't lived in Utah my entire life and but it is very prevalent within Utah community I would say it's still prevalent some places outside but not as much. So yeah.


12:35.72

Zachary Spafford

Sure? Yeah I would agree with that. So so fast forward a little bit. Um so fast forward almost a year and a half to the latest general conference and the new for strength of youth pamphlet comes out and I just. I text the state president I said hey Darcy and I would love to do a standards night on the new for strength of youth pamphlet because these are the things that we talk about and we have been talking about this for years and you've heard us talk about these things right? and it was really um and this this is again. This is on me. It's 100 % on me I'm not.


13:01.30

amandalouder

Yeah, um, hundred percent yeah


13:12.27

Zachary Spafford

Putting anything on the state president. But I I did not get a response ah and for me I felt like that meant that I was I don't belong and it was a really hard weekend for me I'll be ah I'll be really honest with you. Ah, the thoughts of I should leave this church I should.


13:22.56

amandalouder

Yeah, yeah.


13:31.00

Zachary Spafford

Ah, take my family away from these people who do not value our ideas or position or thoughts who are just willing to ignore us outright rather than be open to a dialogue and a conversation about what I believe to be the direction of the gospel.


13:44.46

amandalouder

A.


13:49.48

Zachary Spafford

Which is personal accountability personal revelation and both understanding and living the principles of the gospel without necessarily making it all about rules specifically so it was a really very tough weekend for me.


13:59.86

amandalouder

Yes, Well and I'm so sorry that you felt that way I mean I remember we were actually messaging back and forth when they were introducing this new for strength of Youth Pamphlet really feeling so encouraged by the direction. You know we still I think both of us feel like there are still some parts that might be a little problematic but for the most part It's a really good direction. Yeah.


14:22.77

Zachary Spafford

I Think it's I think it's exactly the right step and so after that weekend I just decided I'm I'm in I'm all in it's not about him and it's not about what he thinks it's about me living the Gospel Fast forward a little bit more that weekend. So the follow of the weekend after conference we went to dinner.


14:33.35

amandalouder

Yeah.


14:41.50

Zachary Spafford

With some coach friends of ours because we only ever hang out with coaches. That's not true, but it kind of seems like it didn't all the my stories and and we're at dinner and we are talking about these things where like you know it's It's about.


14:47.92

amandalouder

It kind of just seems like it I think that's true for many of us too. Not just you guys? yeah.


15:00.71

Zachary Spafford

Taking personal responsibility. It's about um, not just having a rule but living based on the values that you have and and just we were just discussing that with these this older couple who are also coaches or she's a coach and ah we get up to leave and this guy stops us he's like hey. Can I talk to you and we're like ah and it turns out that the that his wife is a member of the young women's general board and I'm not going to mention her name not because ah I Just don't want it I don't want it to seem like this is being endorsed by the church. That's all, um, I'm just telling you this story. So.


15:21.57

amandalouder

Oh that's little ominous. Ah.


15:30.57

amandalouder

Yeah, right.


15:38.91

Zachary Spafford

There it is you do whatever you want with it and she says I'm we're so glad you've caught the vision of this and I'm like we've been done Ben had the...